“Off-the-shelf” CAR-NK cells for enhanced SARS-CoV-2 targeting in COVID-19 treatment

CR3022-CAR cells have greater lysis of cells transfected with the RBD of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein compared to control.

Invention Summary:
    COVID-19 remains a pandemic and a critical medical concern across the world. Patients with severe symptoms are admitted into the ER have grim prognosis and have expensive limited treatment options. A large unmet need remains for an effective COVID-19 treatment despite vaccine deployment. Immunocompromised people unable to receive the vaccine, COVID-19 variant strains, incomplete vaccine efficacy and vaccine hesitancy indicates a continuation of COVID-19 cases.

    Rutgers researchers have developed a natural killer cell expressing a chimeric antigen receptor (CR3022) capable of broadly neutralizing SARS-CoV-1 and -2. It specifically binds to the receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 enabling the CAR-NK cell to prevent infection and kill infected target cells. Possible applications for this product include its use in the treatment of COVID patients. 

Market Applications:

  • Prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19


  • Binds to RBD of SARS-CoV-2 to prevent docking to host cells
  • Kills SARS-CoV-2 infected cells
  • Does not rely on patient’s own immunity when they are in lymphopenia
  • Immunocompromised people may be able to mount an immune response with CAR-NK technology against COVID-19
  • Allogenic, universal and “off-the-shelf” capability

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Tania Das Banerjee
Assistant Licensing Manager
Rutgers University
Bioengineering scaffolds